Students doing project outside res hall

Vermont is a special place. The Outdoor Experience Learning Community is geared toward UVM students who value connection to the natural world beyond our halls. 

This community fosters a space for continual development of self, teamwork, and leadership in an inclusive environment free of the presence and influence of alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs.

 

LEARN WHERE YOU LIVE

Throughout your time in this Learning Community, you will explore various parts of Vermont, cultivate a wider understanding of what is included in the phrase “outdoor experience,” and along the way make meaningful connections with your peers, mentors, and the Vermont landscape.

  • All new first-time, first-year students in Outdoor Experience will be enrolled in the one-credit class Vermont Outdoor Experience (PRT 096), designed to increase self-understanding in relationship to the community and the natural world.
  • Current UVM students living in Outdoor Experience will have the option to apply for an enhanced focus. If admitted, they will receive additional benefits, including special programming options and leadership opportunities.
  • All students living in Outdoor Experience are expected to commit to Community Expectations, keeping alcohol, cannabis, other drugs—and their influences—out of our community.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Outdoor Experience is a Learning Community that appeals to students interested in learning about and engaging with the outdoors—with a specific focus on Vermont. Whether you are seeking to explore the outdoors for the first time or already have a deep connection to the natural world, our community strives to knit together a wide variety of experiences. We offer a number of community gatherings, presentations, workshops, guided outings, and self-designed experiences intended to build a diverse and engaged community, encourage self-discovery and teamwork, and promote the development of leadership skills.

In Outdoor Experience, stewardship or care to our community is a core value. As our community continues to grow, recognizing these values means we must place special attention on actions that can be disruptive to ourselves, our home, or the environment. As a member of Outdoor Experience, you agree to uphold our core values with integrity.

Students will:

  • Examine scientific and anecdotal evidence that supports the benefits of outdoor experiences on human well-being.
  • Engage in a variety of outdoor activities throughout Burlington to expand their connection to a broader community and natural settings.
  • Develop an understanding of how their identities and experiences shape their worldview and perspectives in relationship to others, within an inclusive outdoor community.

FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE

Students in their first year build community by living together in the Outdoor Experience Base Camp. Here faculty and staff hold classes and workshops, and student leaders engage in community-bonding activities. Base Camp is a multi-year housing location that intentionally connects first-year students to returners with various interests through student-led trips and skill-building opportunities.

OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE FOCUS (2020-2021)

Students in their second-plus year can choose housing in one of three areas, and also apply for a variety of student leader positions.
  • Base Camp: Some returning students will select to live and connect with all first-year students in the OE Base Camp. This over-arching approach to outdoors with staff and student leader driven activities and trips will help introduce and direct students toward further exploration. [Wing-Davis-Wilks Halls]
  • Coolidge Corners: Students select to live in themed wings of Coolidge Hall for a more self-directed experience based on common outdoor pursuits. Coolidge Corners residents will have access to additional resources that support their unique interests and will be able to create or improve equipment maintenance and storage spaces. Choices include:
    • On Snow: skiing, snowboarding, back-country skiing and splitboard, Nordic and skate skiing, park, telemark, snowshoeing
    • Ascensionists: climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, hiking, spelunking
    • On Water: kayaking, canoeing, sailing, boating, SUP, swimming
    • Naturalists: bird-watching, gardening, animal tracking, foraging, fishing, hunting, Leave No Trace principles, survivalist skills, orienteering
    • Urban Adventures: skateboarding, longboarding, rollerblading, biking, parkour, slacklining, indoor plants
  • Trip Leaders: This focus is set aside for returners trained and willing to lead our trips and outings. Students who apply to live here should be trained through the Outing Club, Ropes Course, and/or have the appropriate comparable trainings (WFA, WFR, EMT, NOLS, Outward Bound, etc.). Trip Leaders must return to campus one week before classes begin, and are required to lead at least two trips each semester. [Redstone & Slade Halls]

LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Undergraduate Course Facilitator (UCF): Work closely with the Outdoor Experience faculty and staff to instruct the first-year course Vermont Outdoor Experience (PRT 096). Enroll in a supplemental Instructor course to ensure a quality student experience. Application opens in March. (Must return to campus the week before classes begin in the Fall semester.)

Learning Community Leader (LCL): Serve as a primary role model for other students in the LC and work closely with Outdoor Experience staff to create a successful educational experience and learning environment. Applications accepted in January of each year. (Must return to campus one week before classes begin.)

Resident Advisor (RA): Work closely with the Outdoor Experience team as a primary resource for students to build a sense of home and support community connections and involvement. Students interested in this position should be on the lookout for RA Info Sessions in November.

Hall Council Member: A great way to have a voice and action in the Outdoor Experience community. More information about Hall Council will be available at the beginning of the fall semester.

EVENTS

  • Trip Leader Trips
  • Large-Scale Trips (apple-picking, ropes course)
  • Film Screening

 

Locations: Coolidge, Davis, Redstone, Slade, Wilks, Wing

Please check your housing contract for more specific location information.

 

MEET OUR STAFF AND FACULTY

Marty BurrowsMarty Burrows
Progam Director
rburrows@uvm.edu

 

Kiana BestKiana Best
Program Coordinator
kbest@uvm.edu

 

Michael McDonaldMichael McDonald
Faculty Associate
mmdonal@uvm.edu

 

Mike BlouinMichael Blouin
Faculty Associate
mrblouin@uvm.edu

 

Luben DimovLuben Dimov
Faculty Associate
ldimov@uvm.edu

 

Vera CottenVera Cotten
Area Coordinator
vcotten@uvm.edu

 

Alicia Cooper
Residence Director
acoope11@uvm.edu

 

Colton McAdamsColton McAdams
Assistant Residence Director
cmcadam1@uvm.edu

 

Jeremy TorresJeremy Torres
Assistant Residence Director
etorres2@uvm.edu

 

Barb KlehBarb Kleh
Office Manager
bkleh@uvm.edu

 

Taylor SilvestriTaylor Silvestri
Office Manager
tmsilves@uvm.edu

 

What excites us about The Outdoor Experience? We love seeing students be able to get off campus and experience areas of Vermont that are new for them. Expanding everyone’s definition of what it means to be in the outdoors, in ways as simple as sitting under a tree.

 

 

Campus: Redstone
Buildings: Davis, Coolidge, Redstone, Slade, Wing, Wilks

TWO MAIN DESK LOCATIONS:

Wing/Davis/Wilks Main Desk: WDW Commons - 802.656.2520
Office Manager: 802.656.7941

 

Wing/Davis/Wilks Mailing Address:
Student First and Last Name
Hall Name / Room Number (or box #)
486 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405

 

 

Coolidge/Redstone/Slade Main Desk: Wright Hall Lobby - 802.656.3200
Office Manager: 802.656.4155

 

Coolidge/Redstone/Slade Mailing Address:
Student First and Last Name
Hall Name / Room Number (or box #)
436 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405